Coronavirus is Driving These Nurses to Quit: ‘I realized my voice was too small to fix things’

January 21, 2021 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce, Engagement & Morale

Last modified January 22, 2021

According to this article from The Lily, there are many nurses in the United States who have left, or are considering leaving their jobs over coronavirus concerns and fears for their own safety. National Nurses United, the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the country, did not respond to a request for comment on the current working conditions nurses are facing. But many of its 150,000 members are involved in campaigns speaking out against the conditions.

This month alone, nurses at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of California at Irvine held a news conference to protest their hospitals’ use of waivers in an effort to get around state laws guaranteeing nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. Nurses at Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City, California voted to unionize. Nurses at Carondelet St. Mary’s and St. Joseph’s hospitals held a honk-a-thon in Tucson to draw attention to how overworked they are — including now having to care for three, instead of two, intensive care patients at a time.

Intensive care unit nurse Sandra Kirkby, 41, recently quit her job at the Chandler Regional Medical Center in Chandler, Arizona. “It was not an easy decision to leave after 15 years of identifying as an ICU nurse,” she said. “I’ve advocated for patients to both physicians and hospital administration for 15 years. I’ve been active in process movements and trying to fix things. I realized that system is so beyond broken, and that after several mergers, working for a now-huge corporation, there was nothing I could do to fix it and offer my patients the best care. I couldn’t clock in and go through motions for a paycheck. I realized my voice was too small to fix things.”

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